Originally from the city of Franklin, Frater Andrew joined our Mu Nu Chapter during the spring semester of 2001 as the 444th member. A few guys brought him over the to TKE house during Homecoming in the previous semester where he met Allyn Weber and Mark Friedenberger. Andrew later decided to rush, largely because of Allyn and Mark.
He ended up graduating in Dec ‘06 with a major in Building Construction Management and minors in Business Administration and another in Occupational Safety Management. After graduating, he moved to Chicago where he eventually went back to school in 2012 and changed his career path in 2014.
Andrew just started a new job with DuPage Medical Group as a MRI Technologist after three years as a MRI tech at the University Chicago Medical Center. He is also in the planning stages to open up a new business with a business partner in Kankakee, IL.
He is married to Jane and they will be having their 10 year anniversary next year. Andrew and Jane also have two great kids, Evan and Ryan, who basically take up the majority of their time right right now between schools, sports, and other activities. Frater Andrew is also Evan’s Cub Scout Den Leader and Assistant Cubmaster so he tends to stay fairly busy. Their son Evan is 7 and Ryan turns 4 in a few weeks.
We've heard about the annual Wildman Weekend trip. How did that get started?!
Actually it all started for Spencer’s (Harris) bachelor party...that year we loved it so much we decided to continue the tradition! We’ve had a few times in the past 8 years when we weren’t able to make it work out.
Where do you guys go? What do you plan for the trip?
We’ve been going to Wildman Ranch in Athelstane and have rafted both the Pestigo and Menominee Rivers. Last time we went, we also added in zip lining and had a chance to go shooting. Usually it’s only a quick weekend so we don’t have much time to plan much of anything else. Next year we may be doing something more low key and closer...possibly by the WI - IL border.
You mentioned your new business venture. How did that all come about? Have you always wanted to start your own business?
Starting a business has always been on my mind but I never really thought I’d do it. When I was younger I was put down quite a bit or told I’d never amount or be able to do anything from “friends” or other people in school....always kinda had a hard time to get the confidence I needed to actually pursue starting a business because of it. When I got married in 2010 I researched and was about to start a home inspection business partly because my wife strongly supported my idea but because of the way the housing market was going I tabled it.
I also had an idea at that same time to start doing property rentals with my little brother Spencer, but he took a new position and I started doing 80-90 hr work weeks in school so it never took off as life got in our way.
Then just about a year or two ago one of my good friends I went to X-ray school with got an indoor home golf simulator from his wife as an anniversary gift.....a conversation started and eventually went to a golf simulator place by us...from there we did a little research and it turned into a full blown pursuit to start a business.
Within the last few months we met with one of the cities around us just to get some information about our idea and get some information about the area as an informal meet and greet....the feed back from them gave us the final “ah-ha” moment we were waiting for to make this happen.
What type of business will this be?
It will be a golf simulator/bar business....focus will be on the golfing aspect. The sims we are going to be putting in are state of the art curved screens...it’s kinda cool because they have movie options and even have a “shooting” range option that includes wireless guns....they are almost like the “deer hunter” arcade game and have some others with the “duck hunt” feel. We are waiting on some conceptual drawings from our architect...and in the process of purchasing the building right now...so still at the ground floor of this.
I've known you quite a while now. We worked together, went to spring break together and have some good memories. Looking back, what are some things from your college years that still stay with you today?
Some of the most memorable were pledging and living on 3S Dobson Hall, going to the TKE Leadership Academy, and just the friendships that I’ve gained over the years.
Did TKE give you any tools to be successful today...in marriage, as a father, employee or new business owner?
TKE actually taught me a lot. Hardworking and multi-tasking would be two of the biggest takeaways for being a husband, father, new business owner and even an employee.
In the fraternity it takes a lot to juggle school, hold an chair / officer position, and keep up brotherhood. This can directly relate to be able to be a good husband and to be able to support and help raise our children. To keep the family / work / social life balance only gets tougher the older we get!
It also helps in the workforce. To be able to work together in different groups and teams on a project or specific task we need to learn to work with different types of people and try to understand where we come from or how to be able to convey what we are trying to accomplish.
I’ve learned a lot...most didn’t fully make sense until after I was able to put what I learned in TKE into play once I graduated. TKE helps us grow both individually and as a group.
Also what’s sad is that it took me to graduate and move away to fully understand many of my errors in how to deal with situations while I was in college...but that’s also how I learned to better myself and how to treat and work with others.
How has your career progressed since you graduated from UWP?
My career has definitely been a journey of sorts...but without the experiences and skills gained I never would have been able to make the gains in my career.
- Cubs or White Sox? Brewers, but if I had to choose I'd say Sox.
- Board games or video games? Board games or games like "Cards Against Humanity"
- Christmas or Thanksgiving? Christmas
- Morning or night? As much as I hate to say this, morning.
- Skiing or snowboarding? I can't do either, so sledding it is!
- Cold or hot? Cold, I love fall and winter.